The temperatures Saturday in Fallston were in the low 20′s with a bit of a wintry breeze. For a few brave souls, however, it was like a day at the beach as they — some more cautiously than others — plunged into a large pool of frigid water outside the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company’s main station on Carrs Mill Road.
Two Harford County Super Plunger teams were on hand for the community pre-plunge event held to help raise money for Special Olympics Maryland and the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge on March 24-26 at Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis and virtually. The annual cold dive, which raises funds for Special Olympics Maryland, was scheduled for Jan. 28-Feb. 5 but was postponed because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Friends, family and others from the community gathered near the pool as the group, made up of about a dozen plungers, including Harford County Super Plunger Tressa Andrews, who goes by the nickname Mary “Spicy” McCormick, Special Olympians Danny Grau and Stacey Hull, and members of the Fallston Volunteer Fire Company, took a dip in the pool.
Super Plungers Bob LeCompte, his daughter Molly, of Columbia, and their friend Rick Moore of Pasadena, joined in the fun.
“We travel all over for these,” said Moore, who was standing inside the fire station after taking the first plunge of the day. “We go to Deep Creek, Ocean City, and of course Sandy Point. It keeps me young.”
Moore recalled why he continues to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge. “In 1993, after my first plunge at Sandy Point,one of the Special Olympians came over and hugged me and said, ‘Thank you.’ That was it. I’ve been doing these ever since.”
Moore and LeCompte are part of a larger group of nearly 300 people who participate each year in the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge.
Fallston Volunteer Fire Company President Chris Gibbons helped organize the event at the fire station in 2021. This year, he took it one step further by becoming a plunge partner with Special Olympian Danny Grau.
“This year they invited me to be a team member with Danny Grau,” Gibbons said. “So we pulled together this fundraiser to help the teams and figured as part of that, we could do some plunging to prepare. We can’t thank everyone enough for their support.”
Clearwater Pool and Spa provided the pool and made a $2,500 donation to kick-start the fundraising drive. Between plunges, local musicians kept people moving while Independent Brewing Company and local food trucks Pit N Pinchers and Don’s Dogs also supported the event . The teams are hoping to do another fundraiser around Valentine’s Day.
Contributions to the Harford County Super Plunger teams can be made on their websites at https://tinyurl.com/spicy2022 or https://tinyurl.com/keepitreal2022; or by contacting Darlene Schaefer at Dschaefer479@hotmail.com or 443-243-3656.